Half of an Endangered Antelope Population Has Died Within Weeks


TIME

More than 120,000 of the endangered saiga antelope have died in recent weeks due to illness, conservation and wildlife officials say, a mystifying loss that represents more than a third of its global population.

“This loss is a huge blow for saiga conservation in Kazakhstan and in the world,” Kazakhstan’s vice agriculture minister Erlan Nysynbaev said in a statement released by the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, a treaty under the U.N. Environment Programme. “It is very painful to witness this mass mortality.”

Scientists have identified a number of biological and environmental factors that have likely contributed to the deaths but the exact cause remains unclear. Two bacteria pathogens, Pasteurella and Clostridia, have been found in the carcasses but neither were considered the lethal cause unless the immune system was already weak.

Adding to scientists’s confusion and frustration, the mystery ailment leaves no survivors when…

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Recuperation


This is a post I’m putting up at all my Blogs, even though that particular Blog may be unaffected due to scheduled posting, etc. Blog posts may be down a little at the moment and that for the last week or so. I have been ill with various illnesses and complaints for the last several weeks, so I have now decided to take the next week off from most Blogging activities in an attempt to rest and recover – if I can while still actually doing my very physically demanding actual job in the real world. I hope to return to Blogging full time in about a week’s time.

Glass House Mountains Road Trip: Day 1 – 11 August 2013


Due to what was seemingly constant illness since November, I cancelled my planned trip to Uluru (Northern Territory, Australia) and brought forward my holidays in order to spend time getting well. From the moment I cancelled the trip I was healthy, until the very last day of work when I again fell ill and had to stay at home for the first week recovering. I then decided I should at least go on a road trip for a few days during the second week and do something useful with my annual leave.

So a very hastily planned road trip to the Glass House Mountains and Australia Zoo (Queensland) was thrown together in a matter of hours and when I couldn’t sleep I decided I might as well be up and off on it – that happened at 3am on the Sunday morning and I was away by 4am. At the end of the first day I was completely exhausted – however I had arrived in Beerburrum, with both Australia Zoo and the Glasshouse Mountains just down the road, which allowed a sleep in the next day with plenty of time for exploring as well.

Without getting too far ahead of myself though, I should cover the first day of the road trip, which did involve a lot of driving – which I think is an essential ingredient of any journey termed a ‘road trip.’ My road trip took me up the Pacific Highway, with a number of quick stops along the way (including Coffs Harbour, Macksville, Maclean, etc). The featured photo is of an old sugar cane barge in the Ferry Park, at Maclean in New South Wales. I took that shot while taking a pit stop at the Visitor Centre located in the Ferry Park. The journey north also included a drive through Surfers Paradise and the Gold Coast, as well as Queensland’s capital – Brisbane.

Back Very Soon


Hi all – my previous post suggested I would be away for about a week or so because of pneumonia. It turns out my absence was for a whole lot longer than that. I ended up with Double Pneumonia twice in 6 weeks and it has been a struggle to recover. I am feeling much better now and hope to return to Blogging over the next week, posting to each again over that time. Thanks for your patience.